Johnny Carson

Active - 1964 - 2021  |   Born - Oct 23, 1925 in Corning, Iowa, United States  |   Died - Jan 23, 2005   |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Comedian and consummate late-night talk show host Johnny Carson was a television institution on the Tonight Show for thirty years. With his natty style and acerbic wit, he became an American icon. He has appeared in only a couple feature films such as, Cancel My Reservation (1972); he also hosted several videos and has been the subject of numerous video anthologies.

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  • Wrote a humor column for his high-school newspaper.
  • While still in college, made his radio debut on a Nebraska station, creating a Western comedy show.
  • Senior thesis at the University of Nebraska was titled "How to Write Comedy Jokes."
  • Made his TV acting debut on a 1957 Playhouse 90 adaptation of the stage farce Three Men and a Horse. The cast also included Jack Carson and Carol Channing.
  • Hosted the Academy Awards five times (1979, '80, '81, '82 and '84).
  • Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1992) and a Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award (1993). Was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1987.
  • Is the celebrity with the second most TV GUIDE cover appearances, with 29 (Lucille Ball is first, with 34).